Remember To Budget For Move-In Expenses When Buying A Home

Remember To Budget For Move-In Expenses When Buying A Home

Home buying TV shows always tell you the price of a home and then show you the people living in it happily — they often leave out the difficult and sometimes expensive costs new home owners are surprised with. Remember to budget for them so you’re not caught off guard.

Photo by inxti (Shutterstock)

Finance blog Get Rich Slowly points out there are a number of costs that new home owners will almost likely have to deal with as soon as they move into their brand new multi-hundred-thousand dollar home that may not be immediately apparent, especially if you’re still reeling from having signed a mortgage for an obscene amount of money. For example, the first thing you’ll probably want to do when you move in is get the locked changed — there’s often no telling who has a key to your house.

Similarly, most people don’t think about the costs involved with lawn care and landscaping until they have already owned a home that had those requirements. If you find a house you love because of its big yard and tall trees, remember you’ll either have to mow and trim the lawn and trees yourself, or hire someone to do it for you. You should also be ready for interior costs as well — things like window treatments and drapes for all the windows you suddenly have. Moral of the story: Keep some of that money you saved as a down payment in the bank (or save specifically for new household costs) to take care of those kinds of things — they almost always crop up when you move into a new home.

8 Surprise Expenses for New Homeowners [Get Rich Slowly]


  • Also beware of “hidden surprises” by unscrupulous sellers.
    I bought a beautiful house that was owned by a slumlord (all smiles, drove a fancy car, couldn’t lie straight in bed, etc). One of many laughable conversations when I bought the property was …
    “How come that tap is leaking? Wouldn’t that cost a fortune in water bills?”
    “No”. Replied the slum lord, “i called out a professional, but the problem is not obvious”.
    After I bought the place, I turned off the mains tap, used a shifter and inspected the washer – it was cracked. I put in a new washer, tightened the tap and turned on the mains! Violas, it was fixed.
    Needless to say, there were quite a few hidden surprises from the slumlord – things that would have taken 10 seconds and 30 cents are too much for a slumlord. Some cost much more to fix because the shortcut had done other damage. Missing plumbers tape, missing washers, insufficient screws on a roof, non galv screws in a galv roof causing rust (noting that galv screws cost me 1c more than non galv).
    So if you see that slick looking guy driving a fancy sports car, who talks smoothly and strikes you as dodgy, he may just be a slumlord.

    TL;DR – good reference. Also beware of buying a property from a slumlord. You won’t believe the shortcuts they take. It’s mind boggling!?!?

  • These are expenses that we sometimes overlooked when moving. Changing the locks is, I think, the most important thing because you just need to ensure that no one has the access to your house apart from you. Then the rest of the expenses can follow (just make sure you allocate some money for it).

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